Iranian cleric slams US ‘safe zones’ plan for Syria

(© Siamak Ebrahimi)

Iranian cleric Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami slammed US plans to create “safe zones” in Syria, calling the project a plot to disintegrate the country, reported Tasnim on Friday.

“They (US officials) are seeking to establish safe zones in Syria under the pretext of sheltering refugees,” Ayatollah Khatami reportedly said while leading a Friday prayer in Teheran. The cleric claimed that the safe zones were in reality intended to protect “terrorists” which eventually would cause the disintegration of Syria.

Donald Trump has said the millions of refugees created by the six-year-long war in Syria should stay in “safe zones in the country” rather than go to Europe. “I’ll absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people”, Trump has promised.

Others, including UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Russia have expressed doubts about President Donald Trumps’ plan to establish safe zones for refugees, while Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has said the idea “is not realistic at all.”

The Kurdish-led autonomous administration is Syria’s north recently welcomed ‘safe zones’ in areas it controls in the country’s north saying people fleeing the war could be hosted in autonomous areas, which are the “safest” areas in Syria.

Turkey has rejected this however and has proposed for areas controlled by the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) to be used as possible ‘safe zones’.